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Question of the week: Which Bible passage will help me with the challenges of ministering to the child of divorce?

 
 

 

Recently, I was visiting with a children’s minister. She was overwhelmed with some children in her church who were experiencing the divorce of their parents. Some were displaying exasperating, out-of-control behaviors. She sounded like she was about ready to throw in the towel and walk away. We recognize this as burnout.

We all get that way sometimes. You know what I’m talking about.

  • There is one kid who just bugs you.
  • You can’t seem to get on top of the situation.
  • Or there is one kid from a divorcing family who just can’t be reached. You try and try to contact the parents, but they never return your calls or text you back.
  • Then there are the other parents who complain and tell you if you don’t get rid of “that kid,” they’ll leave your church.
  • Even worse, your lead pastor calls a meeting with you. You already know what is going to take place in this meeting.

You feel torn. You really want to minister to all the children, including the children whose parents are divorcing.

I suggested she read Psalm 23 every day for the next few weeks. You can look at Psalm 23 as a sort of an antibiotic for the soul. This idea comes from a very old book, God’s Psychiatry by Charles Allen. He says to read Psalm 23 like a prescription. Read it before breakfast, after lunch, after dinner, and before you go to bed.

I can’t tell you the number of times I have used this prescription. It takes me back to my real reason for ministry and to my real focus, Jesus Christ. It keeps me going.

As teachers, ministry leaders, volunteers, and parents, we sometimes get so overwhelmed that we forget the best place to go for help to get through some rough patches with disruptive children is God’s very own word.

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside quiet waters. He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.

“You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely Your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalm 23

 

This article is updated and adapted from an article originally published on the Kids & Divorce blog on March 2, 2015.

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